April 19, 2002


Category: Updates :: Permalink

Today was the first full-length day off I’ve had in quite a while. But before I talk about today, I have to back up to last night. I had supper with a couple from the congregation. At about 9:30, I stopped by Hugo’s where a friend of mine, Aron Bird, was playing. It was the first time I’d been to Hugo’s. It’s not a bad little place, though it was rather smoky. No Guinness on tap, but I did get a McNally’s, which was quite nice. Aron plays bass guitar in a jazz trio which includes a guitarist and a trombonist as well. A trombone trio isn’t all that common, I suspect, but the trombonist was very good. I didn’t get home till after midnight.

This morning, I drove up to Calgary, about two hours northwest of here. I’m planning to spend part of my vacation in the States, and though a passport isn’t a must yet for entering the States, it’s a pretty strong should. To cut down the time it would take to get the passport, I decided to go to Calgary and submit my information in person, which is supposed to cut the processing time in half. “Be prepared to wait for hours there,” people told me, so I took along Graham Greene’s England Made Me.

I waited for only about an hour before my number was called. Everything was progressing smoothly until … “You have a passport already,” the lady said. I’d forgotten all about it when I filled in the passport information. Back in 1998, I was supposed to go to the Ukraine to teach at a seminary, filling in for Ray Sikkema, who couldn’t go because of heart trouble. I’d gone through the process to get a passport but then hadn’t needed to use it. Rev. Sikkema was doing better and he decided to go himself. I hadn’t thought about the passport since. I quickly called my parents’ place, which is where I’d been living in 1998 while waiting for a call to a church, and my mother found it. I’ll pick it up when I’m there in June.

Still, the day wasn’t entirely wasted. I stopped off at Pilgrim Books, a Christian used book store, where I picked up a few books — nothing too significant, though it was nice to find a Lutheran Church of America Service Book and Hymnal (1958 edition) for $2.00. Jeff Meyers recommends that one in The Lord’s Service.

While I was there, I overheard a guy tell his friend that he felt guilty buying books when he had other books at home that he hadn’t read yet. The friend seemed to agree. Maybe decades of book buying have hardened me, but what they were describing was completely outside my experience. My parents’ house was full of unread books when I grew up, as my house is right now. And which commandment did they think they’d be breaking anyway?

For the rest of the day, I browsed. I sat in Chapters and read a bit. I listened to parts of Pedro the Lion‘s It’s Hard to Find a Friend at A&B Sound. I especially liked the understated but allusive “Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives.” The link will take you to the lyrics.

For supper, I had spinach and feta cheese lasagne and then headed back to Lethbridge. I arrived back at about 9:30. Now I’m quite tired — not enough sleep last night — and so I’m gonna drink some tea, read a little more Graham Greene, and go to bed.

Posted by John Barach @ 11:37 pm | Discuss (0)

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